Monday, January 14, 2008

Gyeongbokgung Palace-Guest Author-Billy Murphy

Today we ventured out in the extreme cold to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace. It is the biggest Palace in Seoul and by far my (this is Billy) favorite place.
Mom and Dad bundled us all up and we took the subway all the way there and it was real fun. We had to wait for this lady who was going to show us around the Palace to get ready and we had snacks and stuff in a kinda warming room place and then out we went.

There are these cool guard guys who stand at attention for an hour at a time and they do not move. We all had fun getting our pictures taken and trying to get them to laugh or move but they never did; they are professionals my Dad said. The main guard, a guy named Sumunjang, was from the Joseon Dynasty and his job was to devote to the peace and security of the Dynasty by guarding the gates and thus the monarch and his family inside.
These guys took their job serious and it was quite a process to see them change. Now they change every hour but back in the 15th Century there were night guards and day guards only. The process goes like this, first a guard pounds on his drum, like my brother Jimmy, and then the guards start to move into a line. Then the drum guy beats the drum again and the guards move into the main pavilion area, I am not sure why they did it in the 15th Century but my Dad says they do this for a photo op, whatever that is. Then they hand over a book of who came into the Palace, who left and other important stuff like that. Then the drum guy is back at it and everyone leaves and I wanted to find some chocolate milk.

The Palace has a ton of rooms, 13 to be exact. and different buildings and is very old. Along the central axis upon which Gwanghwamun Gate stood was the nucleus of the palace, including the throne hall, reception hall,and the king’s entrance. I point this to you because I really wanted to sit in the chair. I told my Dad, “ dat’s my chair” and “dat’s my bed” because I was a ruler in one of my past lives but my Dad is still in charge.

I liked they way we could walk around the Palace and we saw all the different places the King and Queen lived and the other people too. There is a cool thing under the main rooms where when it is cold like now, the king could build a huge fire and keep the whole building warm. The Japanese must have known about it because when they came to rule they burnt the palace down and everyone was mad. But there are these cool people called FPCP which is Foundation for the Preservation of Cultural Properties, and they and some other adults have been working to restore the palace to is original beauty. I think that when they get the palace done I will move back in.

I mean the place is laid out awesome with the major buildings built symmetrically according to the geometric order and would you believe that in contrast, other buildings were laid out asymmetrically, thereby creating a beauty of variety and unification.

I mean I am only three but you could tell this was a home. We all got really cold and I decided to finally pitch a major fit to prove that I am really in charge. I got my chocolate milk and my Mom found us a great restaurant to get Be Bim Bop.

Hope you like my Palace. Billy